I’ve recently put a new twist in the morning routine. I gather up and put on my Refrigerware Suit, gloves, boots, and hat. Before heading down to the horse enclosure, I check the thermometer and give Pete (who’s still in bed) an abbreviated weather report. That is, I tell him the temperature. We’ve noticed that it’s a few degrees warmer each day. This morning, when I stepped out the door, it was 22 degrees.
I’ve been wearing my Refrigerware suit on a near-daily basis since last November, when Pete pulled it forth from the Black Hole, that vast cabin space that contains our out-of-sight worldly possessions.
Without it, I would not be able to function during the coldest times of the year. It’s that warm. On the coldest of days, I also wear a second layer of long underwear, a fleece coat, and sometimes a wool sweater. I resemble a darker version of the Michelin Man. A comparison can also be made to David Bryne, of Talking Heads fame, who performed in a big suit. I sometimes feel as though I’m inside and looking out at the world. I trundle around, taking everything in.
I’ve had this suit now for five years. The sleeves are now showing sign of wear. Next year, I’ll put some duct tape on them. I’ve become quite adept at getting into and out of it. I can even do this in the outhouse. I step back from the foam hole, unzip, wiggle out of the sleeves, and drop my top half before sitting down.
Each spring I gradually wean myself of the suit. This year is typical of most. I no longer wear it on my morning walks, or when I do the midday animal chores. But I’m still wearing it early in the a.m. and late at night. This morning I noticed that I was a bit sweaty, so tomorrow I’ll just throw on a winter jacket before heading out. And maybe I will do the same in the evening.
April 1 is my cutoff date. I will then cease to wear it at all. I don’t think that there are going to be any more cold snaps. We might get snow flurries or even a storm, but cold is not going to accompany it. Next week, I’ll take it to the Laundromat, wash it, and then have Pete again stash it in the Black Hole. Next fall, out it will come again. This will be like being reunited with an old friend.
Next: 111. 3/29/12: Breakup